Jude Law, Uma Thurman Appear in New Branded Short Films

Advertisers work movie stars into storyline of new spots

Wouldn’t you pay attention to a short film featuring Jude Law or Uma Thurman (or Playboy bunnies), even if it was actually promoting a brand? As a way to woo cynical consumers, advertisers this summer have been slipping celebrities and scantily clad Playmates into their promotional short films.

Law appears in “The Gentleman’s Wager,” a six-and-a-half-minute spot incorporating Johnnie Walker Blue label into a story about a bet over a yacht. 

Uma Thurman plays a young woman in a mental hospital who thinks she can fly in the short film, “Jump!” That promo was one of three winners in the Jameson Irish Whiskey’s annual First Shot competition in partnership with Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions.

Other advertisers are using lesser known celebrities or the well-worn tactic—sex appeal—to attract consumers. Red Bull is one example. Professional cyclist Danny MacAskill, who has 100 million YouTube views, wheels around the Playboy Mansion with a small group of scantily-clad Playmates lounging in bikinis and under waterfalls.

The Red Bull logo, discreet on MacAskill’s helmet, also makes a cameo at the end of the spot in the right hand corner.

The latest film adds to MacAskill’s acting portfolio. He also appeared in the brand’s “Imaginate” series last year and another Red Bull promotion in 2012.

While cycling and pool lounging might seem a far-fetched pairing, Dior Homme calls upon a classic mix of high-end art and fashion in its new “Notes of a Day.” The nostalgic spot takes an approach that designer Kris Van Assche says reflects an imagined meeting of German performance artist Joseph Beuys and Christian Dior.